Batwoman: Down, Down, Down Review
On this week’s episode of CW’s Batwoman, Down, Down, Down, Kate (Ruby Rose) starts to take control of being a new hero for Gotham while Alice plays more mind games with Kate and her family and a major Batman villain is introduced.
With Alice (Rachel Starsken) now knowing that the new hero in Gotham and Kate are connected, she’s pretty much off the lease in this episode with her teasing Kate’s father (Dougray Scott) by breaking into their home. Starsken is easily still the best thing about this series, but she’s now falling too much in line with being just another version of The Joker. Killing a fake Batman in a similar way that Heath Ledger’s Joker did in The Dark Knight and the way they are characterizing her, and her relationship with Kate are slowly making her lose her own identity. Honestly, the same can be said about the show in general as the show struggles to fix its issues with creating stronger supporting characters. Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson) is still just a more annoying, lesser version of Alfred/Lucius, Sophie (Meagan Tandy) isn’t pulling her weight in being a compelling romantic interest for Kate, so much so that they had to bring on a more generic romantic interest just to try to spice things up, and the Crow security is just bland at this point. Even Kate is starting to lose her luster as the series makes a rookie mistake this episode by just adding in more issues with new characters rather than fix things with old ones.
This episode adds in a new villain for Kate to face that’s not only one of the most major Batman villains in recent years, but also a personal favorite of mine – Tommy Elliot (Gabriel Mann) aka Hush. The second he comes in; I had the biggest grin running across my face and Mann does a solid job portraying the character. His undying rivalry with Bruce is his total driving force and part of me likes how snobby and gleeful his is with Bruce not around. However, the downfall of this character’s introduction is in the choices they make in telling his story. Rather than slowly reveal things throughout his time on the show, as it’s been said that he’s going to be a big player on the show going forward, his origin and motives are just lazily said in one scene. I’m also not so sure how I feel about him knowing that Bruce is Batman because it’s something that’s always been an interesting part of his story. Not to mention, he’s not even a surgeon in this iteration apparently as they mention him as a big name in real estate. This is a choice I truly don’t understand as him being a surgeon is a key component that comes out when he becomes Hush. Perhaps this is something he can pick up in his time in Arkham, but the character really isn’t there yet and it’s hard to see the calculated, cunning, and intelligent villain that I know, and love, come this unenjoyable asshole.
Where this episode shines, though, is in delivering a batsuit worth talking about as Kate finally dawns the red wig and bat symbol to give fans the suit they’ve been waiting for. In short, the suit looks awesome and really feels like it was ripped right from the comic. We even get to see it in action with a solid fight scene between Kate and Elliot and it’s cool to see more talk about some of the bat gadgets that we could see Kate using throughout the rest of the series. It’s a shame, though, that this new suit can’t forge a new path for Kate yet as she’s still unable to make her own mark. Again, I get that this first season is likely setting her up to have more of unique feel as she learns to become a new hero for Gotham, but I just wish that I felt more confident about the show forging new ground rather than focusing on typical Batman and CW Arrowverse beats.
Down, Down, Down unfortunately keeps Batwoman trending downward as it can’t seem to fix any of its issues and only adds more with the mishandling of Tommy Elliot. Hopefully next week, as it seems like a new villain is ready to challenge Kate, the show can find its own footing and give the character the uniqueness she deserves.